e-sports, or electronic sports, is a term for competitive video gaming. It has been around for decades and today it’s an incredibly popular activity that is projected to reach over 1 billion people by 2020!
It consists of three main scenes: amateur, semi-pro, and professional. The first two can be played at home with friends or online in public lobbies while the professional scene requires players to compete in stadiums all over the world.
Gaming tournaments are held on a regular basis across all e-sports genres, featuring both live events and online matches. These competitions have huge cash prizes up for grabs and are often watched by thousands of spectators in person or on live streaming sites like Twitch.
Where to Play e-Sports?
There are many places you can play e-sports, but one of the best ways is to compete in tournaments. Tournaments are open to players of all skill levels and can be played at home with friends or online for a bigger challenge.
One of the most popular destinations for competitive gamers is E-Sports Entertainment Association (ESEA). This company hosts online tournaments, leagues, and matchmaking services for games like Counter Strike: Global Offensive, Team Fortress 2, and more. They offer two different types of memberships: premium and basic. The premium membership has a monthly fee that includes things like access to their private servers, matchmaking with other players at your skill level, and more. The basic membership does not have these features but it’s free!
Another well known location for e-sports is Twitch. Twitch was originally built as a means to stream video game playthroughs on the internet in 2011. These days they have evolved into a site where people can watch gaming competitions live or streaming on demand later.
Twitch isn’t just limited to watching games; they also host their own tournaments with cash prizes. Some examples are the Curse Trials (Counter Strike), Collegiate Overwatch Cup (Overwatch), and Hearthstone Grand Prix (Hearthstone).
e-sports have been around since the 1970s and are widely credited as the first competitive video game. The earliest competitions were dominated by games like Pong, Space Invaders, and Pac-Man.
In the 1990s, Quake and Doom became popular competitive games. In 1997’s Red Annihilation tournament, Quake took home an astonishing $50000 in prize money for winning.
The 2000s saw a rise in popularity of multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games such as Defense of the Ancients (Dota) or Heroes of Newerth. These games pit two teams against each other with a player on each team controlling one character.
While e-sports started off as a hobby primarily played at home with friends and online in public lobbies, today it can be played professionally in stadiums around the world with huge cash prizes up for grabs!
The amateur scene is for people who play video games for fun. They compete against other players and teams in their specific game of choice. For example, if a player wants to become an amateur League of Legends player, they would have to find a team or group of players who are also interested in playing the same game.
At that point all the players would get together to practice and learn from one another. They’d also go out into the world, competing in various tournaments and matches to see how much they can improve as a team.
Amateur players are often looking for ways to turn their hobby into a new career path. This is where semi-pro scenes come into play!
The semi-pro scene is more developed than the amateur scene and has a large following in Asia, Europe, North America, and South America. The most famous teams are SK Telecom T1 (South Korea), Team Liquid (Europe), Evil Geniuses (North America), and Na'vi (Europe). The most famous players are Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok, Jang "MaRin" Gyeong-Hwan, Song "Smeb" Kyung-ho, Kim "Deft" Hyuk-kyu.
The professional scene is the most well-known to non-gamers and includes games like League of Legends, Dota 2, and Counter-Strike. The competitions are often held in stadiums with live audiences. The best players in the world can earn over $1 million a year with salaries going up to six digits.
One of the biggest names in e-sports is Sasha "Scarlett" Hostyn, a Canadian Zerg player who has won tournaments in StarCraft II, World of Warcraft, and Halo 3. She became famous after beating an all-male team at an international gaming tournament and she continues to dominate the scene today.
Another big name is Michael Jordan, who was an NBA basketball legend but now plays for the US team RGLA throughout the country. His nickname is "Ownaj", which stands for “owner’s son” (in reference to his father).
Streaming and Competitions
One of the most popular parts of e-sports is live streaming sites like Twitch. This site specializes in gaming and has a wide variety of channels to choose from, including some with well known gamers such as Ninja and Tyler1.
In addition to live streaming, these competitions have huge cash prizes up for grabs and are often watched by thousands of spectators in person or on live streaming sites like Twitch.
Famous Teams and Players
Some of the most famous teams and players in the world are:
- Alliance, a Swedish team that won The International 2012
- Fnatic, a British team that won Dreamhack Winter 2013
- SK Telecom T1 (SKT), a South Korean team that won 2015 League of Legends World Championship.